Web Summit 2014
‘The internet is not technology. It’s a
1. Big data, privacy and security were the major concerns across all disciplines.
2. Branded content is the focus of marketing, creating additional value through storytelling.
3. Brands need to think bigger, beyond marketing, to create additional value for people.
1. Exponential growth will continue, when done right value is easier to create than ever before.
2. Brands are working even closer with startups to create that value, founding owned incubation programs.
3. Democratisation of the brand consumer conversation - the marketing challenge is getting harder as
audiences are shifting from being consumers to creators, who expect more.
1. There is a lack of focus on consumer within the tech industry.
2. Widespread collision between hardware and software, and product development and marketing, which
is already well underway.
3. We are moving from the socially connected generation to one that desires privacy.
Things to watch out for
1. The time for new companies to create great value is reducing exponentially, industry disruption will
2. Facebook has spent £23bn to own some of the top spaces within the AppStore and wider tech
3. Millennial’s are the audience that all brands are vying for, but they don’t necessarily want advertising.
The key insights from this years event
The GDP growth in developed economies is not beautiful.
With 40% of the world now connected to the Internet,
the fastest growing areas are China, India, Brazil and
Millennials are less optimistic and more worried than
ever that they won't have a better life than their parents.
They are finding new routes and solutions to their
problems, finding alternative education and creating their
Entrepreneurship has become mainstream, leading the
charge with a global manifesto with 55m people on
Facebook interested in the topic.
Every sector is now up for grabs as company lifespans are
now 10 years not 50 as used to be the case. Software,
media and travel have changed, but retail and
ecommerce are yet to revolutionised.
“Take risks! You're likely to lose 62% of your time and
money anyway. Learn by doing.”
It takes less and less time to create extraordinary value,
seeing a Moore’s law like growth curve, with the time
involved to create the next big thing rapidly decreasing.
The Klein Report – Saul Klein, Index Ventures
Peter Thiel – Founders Fund, PayPal
Peter Thiel spoke about Silicon Valley’s
‘change the world’ mission, combining big
ideas, technology and the right team of
people. All present in the valley, driving their
#1 tech and business position.
Perpetuated by entrepreneurs focus on
businesses that enable them to have a
monopoly, Amazon is a natural monopoly.
Thiel’s current focus is the fight against aging,
linking the majority of diseases to being a
result of this process.
An interesting point made was the idea of
ageing as the next key problem for Silicon
Valley to ‘solve’ and how exploring the causes
of aging could drive a lot of innovation in
"We should always replace questions about
the future with questions about human
Talk here: http://youtu.be/Bqsdh-6y-
It is clear that todays audiences are not only engaged, but more
involved, particularly in content, shifting from curation to
This is best represented by the growth of citizen journalism, a
theme that stood out. News coverage is changing, led by an
engaged, and activist Gen Y through mediums such as Youtube
and in conjunction with brands such as Vice.
The BBC has recently launched BBC Trending, am interactive
platform for popular videos and consumer-generated coverage.
Vice has expanded its citizen journalism platform and is also
launching new genre specific news channels e.g.
Vice have talked a lot recently about how contrary to popular
thought, Gen Y is very engaged politically and in the news,
becoming a major platform for them. Saying it’s seen an
exponential growth in followers to these specific channels.
The functionality of mobile devices is allowing individuals the
immediacy to capture content and the ability to achieve very
professional production quality. The web is being atomised,
then being reassembled by individuals to map a point of view
The content shift – BBC and Vice
Apple Pay is managed by Stripe, who also
supports Alipay payments in China.
They are also facilitating Twitter and
Collison sees the size of Stripes potential
business as “a question of how big online
payments could be”.
Their aim is to build a payments ecosystem
to enable apps and companies to integrate
mPayments into their platforms better.
We are 10yrs away from majority of
payments going through mobile.
Next mission is to help US and
international brands enter the Chinese
Stripe – Mobile Payments, John Collison, CEO and Founder
Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpoiGg-NFR8
The biggest area of focus for the company is
research and development to drive the
industry forward. A major undertaking for a
startup, leading to the essential relationship
The companies future is rooted in gaming, fun
entertaining and interactive experiences.
VR is going to change human interaction, and
will be the future of long distance
communication, reducing travel and increasing
The next headset will be advanced enough to
be consumer facing, with the aim of moving
towards a light weight headset similar to
Technology is being used to help war patients
work through their trauma, using expansive
sensory experiences including smells and
Oculus Rift – The Future of Virtual Reality
Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tz6gai51Mo
Both would be surprised if fitness
trackers survive for much longer and
expect that they will be integrated into
All companies are focusing on
consolidation across software and
hardware, shifting away from a single
product focus to a more holistic
It's not just about the design of product,
but also the service with it. However,
there are still huge software opportunities
e.g. Uber didn’t need a device.
Business need to rethink the current
method of doing things, start ups focus
on the product and business model first.
The Future of Wearables - Liam Casey, PCH and Tim O'Reilly,
Launching a Handset in Asia - John Sculley, Zeta Interactive
The ex CEO of Apple is launching a new brand of affordable phone in China and Asia,
targeting a younger audience.
Having recruited a large amount of design talent from Apple, their are execute a vision of
combining design with affordability.
Looking to provide a disruptive price ($100-150) with superior customer experience, to scale
a new competitor within the largest growing smartphone market in the world.
Talk Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtMQ5xCP8dE
The future of online media – Mike McCue, Founder, Flipboard and Jimmy Maymann, CEO,
The brightest days of journalism lie ahead of us, it is still about content, still about
narrative and reaching audiences.
The format is changing but this provides a big opportunity with new ways to tell
stories in more contextually relevant moments. Mobile = shorter stories, whole set
up is different.
Huffington post traffic is shifting, with mobile growing from 18% to 60%. As a result
they are working with the dramatic architectural change that has happened to the
web. Passive personalisation across all platforms is their strategy to develop how
they meet customer needs moving forward.
This move to mobile engagement has affected publishing times, as peoples
consumption patterns are different, the majority of which is shifting to early
morning and then again from 5pm onwards. Breaking news is published as it comes,
while lifestyle etc is published at suitable times.
Huffington post have a partner studio on the business side, that is a team of
strategists who look at bigger brand purpose and potential partners - e.g. Johnson
It is not about banner ads, you need to have content to have conversations. Brands
address things that their audience would find interesting anyway, so must build from
this, e.g. in Vogue, the ads are part of the reason you by the magazine.
Flipboard are developing an algorithmic approach, enabling human curation to reach
maximum audience. They understand that the future of the small independent
depends on type of media that brands are buying. Independents don't have scale
and reach, but provide niche audiences that brands may be targeting,
We need to think about the publishing method differently dependent on how
different audiences are consuming it. Rapid change is occurring in how you package
and then monetise your content.
Know the users, know the magic and find a way to connect the
two. Think about marketing in a really simple way, knowing the
user whoever they are and wherever they are.
Storytelling is a huge part of your job as a marketing professional.
Too much of marketing today is about trying to make people do
something, focus on making people think something and feel
As part of this, Google’s challenge is to translate what is inside the
minds of their engineers and what they are passionate about. To
tell a simple story using the Google products; it’s a mash up of
science and art.
Single biggest part of the job for Google is building technology and
tools that help peoples lives and marketing’s role is to make
people aware of this.
Now focusing on how they help people shift from a desktop view
of Google to a mobile view of Google, permeating technology
throughout their lives - Android is a movement, not a platform.
It is our obligation to create experiences that users can participate
and really feel something, digital provides this opportunity.
‘Think and feel storytelling’ – Lauren Twohill, CMO, Google
Brand Content – Alexander Koppel, CCO, Red Bull Media House
Red bull got into the media business right from the
founding of the company, it’s incorporated in their DNA
and has been built from there.
Everything Red Bull do relates back to their philosophy of
Starting by creating stories and developing this to creating
new multi-platform experiences, initially across publishing
and video, then expanding to mobile and digital formats.
Continuing to run print, TV, and digital as separate
businesses. Using these channels as their regular media
products, their magazine has circulation of 2.5m every
Everything has to be about storytelling, that is authentic.
Something that is achieved by working with athletes of the
highest caliber to create aspiration. Then using their
channels to build bridges between what their athletes do
and their audiences want.
A core part of their business is leveraging and licensing
their brand and its value for partners and other companies.
AKQA focus ADDvertising. They believe that advertising is bullshit,
whatever they do needs to add value to people's lives. If people love
you, they become champions of your brand.
Remarkable redefines. Agencies and brands have to have a vision so
big that they are shitting themselves, as it’s the only way to redefine
an industry and create great experiences.
We should be simplifying through technology, creating remarkable
services and make those experiences memorable. By doing this
AKQA helped Delta airlines, who were struggling at the time,
become the number 1 airline in America.
Create remarkable inflection points by encouraging naivety and
being deliberate beginners, trying things new and never done
Every person in a team is a maker and should be enabled and
expected to contribute (bringing gifts), allow makers to make.
Empower and allow people to hack, make and not be restricted by
Key questions to repeat to yourself and team.
1. When are you going to be remarkable?
2. Is the Product frictionless?
3. Are you curious?
4. When is your inflection point?
A Point of Inflection – Ben Jones, AKQA
The Dazed group has an audience of mainly millennial
females across Europe and represent the cutting edge of
pop culture, telling stories that no one else can tell. As a
result have seen a 500% growth year on year.
Some of Dazed’s stories go through and become the
mainstream after a while and brands work with them to
create this level of conversation.
For example, it is the 5th year of Converse emerging artist
initiative, which has put them in the conversation with
They have completely different set cultural attributes to
vice, Dazed is not about news, it’s about culture. VOX media,
Contently, and medium are much more interesting as
They monetise through selling premium ads on their site to
brands, but are heavily creatively involved in the ads being
served to ensure they fit within the content.
Very firm on the new outlook of millenials and Jefferson
champions the fact that some of their audience just don’t
want to be advertised to, so they will not be advertised to.
Millennials and New Media Models – Jefferson Hack, Dazed
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